Aphelion Issue 290, Volume 27
December 2023 / January 2024
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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I Shielded My Prose One Night

by Indranil Ghosh

Encumbered by anarchy and cataclysmic remorse,
could I alter a distressing prose?
A prose that I penned, keeping the Hellhound in mind,
so even if I could, the fright's gonna grind
my bones. With a hefty burden and no one else to share with,
I closed my eyes and excruciatingly pressed my teeth
against each other. I could hear the alphabets screaming hysterically,
"do not take us down you coward, you yellow-belly".
Actually, I do not want to take them down, I simply wish to redo,
just like a brainwashed rebel would want to.
While letting my grim thoughts sink in,
I started wishing I still had my father to lean
on, as I used to. The proses that he compiled,
I remembered, are still unscathed and undefiled.
During my bedtime one night, he told me the tale
of how he mightily fought the Hellhound and how it eventually fell.
He advised me, "son, never let the monster come for your wordings,
once you give in, you will always be running,
from which there will be no turning back". But I am nervous,
I could hear it closing in, aggrieved and all rancorous.
As the thud that its gigantic paws made encroached my sanity,
I saw its face pervaded with the scars inflicted by my father's brevity
in his unaltered proses. I couldn't be prouder,
and decided not to submit and deliver
what it desired: to chew my prose away to shreds.
Now that I valorously shielded my words, it ripped at my flesh instead.
Although succumbing to the wounds, I kept my prose intact and loud,
as I knew at that exact moment that I made my father proud.

© 2022 Indranil Ghosh

Indranil Ghosh is a Ph.D. student in applied mathematics, currently residing in New Zealand. Highly inspired by Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, and Robert Frost, whenever he is not working, one may find him either reading classic poems or listening to bands from the 80s. His Twitter handle is @indraghosh314.

Find more by Indranil Ghosh in the Author Index.